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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-23-2013 04:56 PM
Week One

Last weekend I finally had everything I needed to get the tank planted and filled with water.

First layer is MGOPM topped with a bit of planting medium I got at my local pet store and then the capped with black diamond blasting sand.

I ended up going a bit more high tech than I originally planned. My area has pretty hard water. Out of the tap the PH is 8, GH is 17 and KH is 14. After some research I ended up purchasing an RO unit and mixing RO water with my tap water at a 3:1 ratio. I'm using 1/8 tsp of Florin Delta GH+ per 5 gallons. Final water in the tank is PH 7.5 GH 7 and KH 5.

CO2 is up and running.

Plants are in....
Valisneria along the sides.
Rotala rotundifolia at the back in the middle.
Cryptocoryne parva along the front.
Apongeton spiralis back left.
Cryptocorne wendtii red in the middle.

Some driftwood from the north shore of lake superior.

One very lonely glass cat hiding. The plan is to get a school of glass cats in here after life stabilizes a tad.

Picture below is from one week after planting. The Rotala is shooting out roots from all over the place. I'm not too familiar with this plant but that seems promising.
01-21-2013 06:38 PM
emilmiot After a bit of research here's what I'm thinking of for plants and I'm wondering if people have any general comments on the combination?
Background middle: Rotala Indica (bunch)
Background/Sides: Vallisneria americana x biwaensis (10 per side)
Mid-Back: Aponogeton crispus (1)
Mid-Front: Cryptocoryne Wendtii, Red (3)

What do people think?
01-19-2013 12:40 AM
moneymark niiice
01-18-2013 10:41 PM
Final Resting Place

This is the stand in it's final resting place. Hoping to get the substrate and plants inside in a couple of weeks.
01-18-2013 10:39 PM
Finished Stand in My Shop

This is a shot of the stand when it's pretty much done in my shop. On the left side I put a small shelf to hold food, test equipment etc. Below that books. On the right side I had to leave a little more room for the CO2 tank.
01-18-2013 10:37 PM
A Work in Progress

Here's a shot of the stand as I'm gluing it together in my workshop. Lots of clamps in action. The stand is made out of oak plywood with solid oak trim around it.
01-18-2013 10:34 PM
Finally Some Time...

Okay. Well after many months and a lot of idle time I was able to make some progress. I moved my smaller 20 gallon tank upstairs into the bedroom to make room for the new one. I spent the last few weeks finishing my stand for my new aquarium so I'm posting some photos of that. Next steps are to prep my dirt and black diamond blasting sand.
Still need to finalize what I'm doing for plants but I think I'm going to get them from "A World of Fish" up near the Twin Cities here in Minnesota. I was up there last fall and they seemed to have a good assortment of plants in excellent shape.
10-24-2012 07:53 PM
Brian_Cali77 Sounds good... Can't wait to see how it comes all together. BTW, don't forget to boil rocks and dw you gather from nature, you don't want to introduce anything nasty to your tank. You should also test your co2 equipment because i don't think their return policy and warranty is that long (despite the positive reviews)--especially since you might not get the tank all setup for quite sometime.
10-24-2012 07:33 PM
emilmiot The latest news:
Purchased my CO2 system, (the one Brian_Cali77 references above). I purchased a 5lb tank from amazon as well as a few other odds and ends.
Stopped by the tractor supply company and picked up a bag of black diamond blasting sand. That is really cool looking stuff! I've tested rinsing it and working with it a little bit.
I was up on the north shore of lake superior and picked up some driftwood and a few rocks along the shore.
So little by little I'm amassing the components. Been researching plants and reading some books. I recently purchased a book called "Freshwater Aquarium Models" by John Tullock. Interesting book with lots of different suggestions for designs. So I'm narrowing in on what I want to do.
Need to design the stand and pick up the wood yet.
Now my biggest challenge is finding the time to begin putting all of this together. I'm hoping to get going before the holidays but we'll see.
10-23-2012 04:50 PM
FORREST3320 very Nice start excited to see how this build gose
10-23-2012 04:06 PM
Originally Posted by MyMonkey View Post
Great info here! Thanks. Any update on the tank?

Nice start
10-23-2012 11:31 AM
MyMonkey Great info here! Thanks. Any update on the tank?
10-10-2012 01:54 PM
emilmiot All right, you've convinced me. I ordered the "Premium AQUATEK CO2 Regulator with Integrated cool touch Solenoid" from eBay - $79. Working on a CO2 cylinder from Amazon and a few extra parts. It will be a couple of months before this is all set up but I'm excited to see how it all works and the results.

Thanks again for the input, I'm starting to get my head around all this CO2 stuff.
10-09-2012 11:42 PM
KGsPFT Gotcha. Just saw the paintball only versions, which confused me with the recommendation of a 5lb cylinder!
10-09-2012 11:19 PM
Brian_Cali77 @KGsPFT - Aquatek makes a newer "mini" regulator that's for paintball tanks (no adapter needed). Their older full sized regulator has been out for sometime now. It has a great track record and cost less than the Milwaukee. Milwaukee is good too, but you get more for your money and plus all the extras included (co2 tubing and bubble counter w/ check valve) by getting the Aquatek. I'd link it, but TPT removes the ebay links.. Just go to ebay and search Aquatek. When it was on Amazon (which it usually is), you can read the reviews there as well. Seems like a well constructed regulator IMO.

Full Sized Regulator:

Mini Regulator for Paintball:
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